Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday - December 24, 2008

Lots of news, mostly bad.

Baking Soda Infusion - Judy did finish the 8 days of baking soda infusion and was sick most of the time, but felt it was worth it if it shrunk the tumors. The infusions did cause most of the back pain to go away, which was really helpful. The tumor markers went from 2,622 on Nov. 11 to 3,000 on Dec 23rd. But it is hard to tell what that really means, since they went from 1,000 to 2,622 (a 160% increase) during the prior two months that she was off chemo. In the prior two months they more than doubled and in the last 6 weeks they only increased by 15%, so maybe the infusions were helpful.

We did get the results of the Nov 25 CT scan on her abdomen and pelvis and chest and comparisons to the Jul 28 CT scan.

Liver - We learned that there was an 8 mm hypodensity within segment 6 of her liver, but that it did not increase in size and there were no new hepatic lesions. There was a mild amount of gas within the intrahepatic biliary tree within the left lobe.

Kidneys - The left kidney was not growing as fast as the right. There was a 10 mm lobulated lesion within the superior pole of the right kidney, which was unchanged. Bilateral extrarenal pelvises were present.

Pancreas - The previous 23 x14 mm hypodensity adjacent to the tail of the pancreas currently measured 15 x 10mm. The 13 mm left adrenal lesion was not changed.

Abdomen - There were numerous small lymph nodes within the retroperitoneum, celiac region and mesentery
and there was also a general increase in size and number of lymph noes in these regions. The prior 15 x 8 mm left para aortic lymph node had increased to 18 x11 mm, the prior 23 x 10 mm portocaval lymph node increased to 23 x 13 mm, and the right iliac chain lymph node went from 13 x 7 mm to 17 x 9 mm.

Pelvis - There was a mild amount of free fluid within the pelvis, the uterus was filled with fluid and there was mild asymmetric thickening of the left aspect of the myometrium.

Back - Numerous blastic metastasis were again seen in the lumbar spine and pelvis. A few of these appear to have increased in size. For instance the 28 mm lesion within the L4 vertebral body previously measured 26 mm.

Heart - One mediastinal lymph node in the lower mediastinum anterior to the the descending aorta was 10.5 x 8.5 mm and is currently 12.9 x 10.3 mm.

Axillary Lymph Nodes - Many enlarged right superior and inferior axillary lymph nodes were present and increased in size.

Bones - Diffuse osseous metastatic disease involved the sternum, ribs and thorasic spine, but had not progressed since the earlier CT scan.

Blood Tests - Judy had three blood test results that were of concern to the oncologist. First, her Alkaline Phosphatase went from 298 to 961.
The normal range for Alkaline Phosphatase is 39-120. Higher levels may indicate that the bile duct is blocked.

Second, her
Aspartate Aminotransferase went from 80 to 131. The normal range for the Aspartate Aminotransferase is 8-35, with high levels indicating possible liver damage.

Third, her Alanine
Aminotransferase went from 32 to 56. The normal range for Alanine Aminotransferase is 4-36, with higher levels indicating possible liver damage.

As a result of these significantly increased test results, the oncologist has ordered an ultrasound of her liver and scheduled it for Friday.

The last time we met with the oncologist she informed us that none of Judy's tumors were immediately threatening. So, this time I asked her what she actually expected Judy to die from. She said that it would likely either be a brain tumor or a tumor that would cause the liver to stop functioning. Based on the above test results and the absence of any indications of a brain tumor, it seems likely that a liver tumor will take her.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Well, we didn't get the tumor site baking soda injections ... but we did get baking soda infusions directly into her porta-cath. We were supposed to get infusions daily for eight days. Judy got real sick and experienced severe tremors before the initinal infusion of 3 mg's of baking soda and Vitamin B complex, but we went ahead anyway. That first evening she felt fairly well. The next day she took the second infusion of 6 mg's of baking soda (again with B) and got really sick that night, including worse tremors. They lasted about an hour. The next two days were skipped ... the first day the DO wanted to research the possibility that the infusion might be causing the tremors and the second day he was ill.

The next day (Friday) we went back for a 3rd infusion of 12 mg's of baking soda and protien. Judy got real sick again and ended up being in bed most of the day on Saturday, with terrible nausea. She called the DO at home and he prescribed ginger root and peppermint tea. It seems unlikely that she will be able to continue these treatments, as the protocol calls for the baking soda amount to be doubled each time and be 100mg's on the final treatment.

We go back to the Wellness Center on Monday and the oncologist on Tuesday. Guess we will have to see what each says.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday - December 3, 2008

We had quite a time over Thanksgiving! All of our children and grandchildren were here and we actually got a complete family picture! It was exhausting as the guys played video games all night and the kids and moms were up fairly early the next morning. The nights that no video games were played, we often stayed up and talked much on the night. It was also total chaos, as the house was strewn with toys and sleeping arrangements and the garbages were always overflowing. It was so good to have them here, but the peace and quite are so wonderful now that all are gone! We can actually get a good nights sleep again.

Judy finally got the results back from her CT Scan and learned that the tumor she most worries about (the one at the base of her pancreas) actually shrunk a little. If this tumor invades the pancreas it will cause extreme pain and signal the beginning of the end. Unfortunately most of the other tumors had grown some.

Dr Randy Roberts at the Soli Wellness Center in Layton (near Ogden) said that she had progressed well during her first month of the plethora of wellness treatments, but that she still had a long way to go to be at her best. So, we contracted for another month of treatments! We expect to treat there at least another two to four months. Unfortunately none of these costs are covered by our health insurance.

One of the treatments that she received was a detoxifying foot bath. She was so impressed by it that we actually bought the machine so that she could do it at home more than once a week. We are also considering doing baking soda injections at the site of the tumors in her back that are causing the most pain. We think we have identified a local DO who will do them, though of course the Huntsman Cancer Center is discouraging this approach as there are no double blind studies supporting this therapy. However, there is a doctor in Europe that has some successful patient histories with this therapy ... but he is the only one publishing results at this time.